IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Taking The Big Leap

After much contemplation, I have decided to move from a WordPress.com blog to a self-hosted WordPress.org website. I bought my domain name on last Sunday, and have exported Sugarpeach to my new website. There are still some loose ends to be tied up on these sites, especially the redirection of links, but my new website is for the most part ready. I changed the name of my blog. So now, instead of it being Sugarpeach, it is now called Audacious Reader. I will be posting more about why I switched to a self-hosted website. CLICK HERE TO VISIT AUDACIOUS READER I will not be deleting this blog, but I will no longer be posting here. In essence, Sugarpeach is now defunct. If you are an email subscriber here, please resubscribe using the feedburner tab located at the top of the right sidebar of Audacious Reader. If you are an author, please head over to Audacious Reader. I will no longer be responding to review requests sent using the Sugarpeach contact form. Thank you and I hope to see you at Audacious Reader!

Update: Due to problems with my web host company (the company suddenly withdrew their free web hosting policy without warning, disabling my blog and others’ as well) , I was forced to move back to a regular WordPress.com. The link above will bring you to my current blog.

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Review: The Diary of a Seventh Grade Hybrid by Lee J. Mavin

the diary of a seventh grade hybrid book coverPublisher: Grace Publishing
ISBN: 978-9881922090
Pages: 232
Format: Paperback
Rating: 1
Age recommendation: Children ,Tween

It is Ziggy’s first year at Fuqian International School. He wakes up on the day before his first day of school not remembering anything about his past. His mother asks him to start a diary, thus the birth of The Diary of a Seventh Grade Hybrid. He records each day’s events, even though they get weirder each day. Like his teachers’ suspicious actions. And the secret he keeps hidden under his extra large cap. It is only the matter of time before things starts to unravel and more questions about Ziggy’s past are revealed. Continue reading

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Review: The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
and the book:
Thomas Nelson (January 3, 2012)

***Special thanks to
Audra Jennings – The B&B Media Group – for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:
Shay Brandenberger has built her entire life on the shifting sands of what others think. Constantly seeking the approval of others, she has struggled through a rocky childhood, a failed marriage and single parenthood. Now it looks like she’s losing the ranch that has been in her family for three generations, a surefire way to mark her as a failure in the eyes of the community. When Travis McCoy, the high school sweetheart who very publicly broke her heart fifteen years before, returns to Moose Creek, she is less than pleased. Not only does his re-appearance dredge up a deluge of painful memories, it also reminds everyone in town that it was he who left her, not the other way around. To make matters worse, Shay and Travis are unwittingly paired to play bride and groom in the annual Founder’s Day wedding re-enactment where, much to her chagrin, she discovers he still has the power to take her breath away. Continue reading

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Are You a Bibliophile? by Karen Wojcik Berner & Giveaway

karen berner authorKaren Wojcik Berner lives a provincial life tucked away with her family in
the Chicago suburbs. If it was good enough for Jane Austen, right?
However, dear Miss Austen had the good fortune of being born amid the
glorious English countryside, something Karen unabashedly covets, so much
so that she majored in English and communications at Dominican University. Like the magnificent Miss Austen, Karen could not help but write about the society that surrounds her.

Thank you so much, Evangeline, for inviting me to guest blog today. I am very excited to be here.

My series, The Bibliophiles, is about the members of an American suburban classics book club. Each novel spotlights one or two Bibliophiles and tells the story of their lives up until joining.

For example, A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One) is about Sarah, an overwhelmed, stay-at-home mom, and Annie, a P.R. executive dealing with fertility issues. My next book, due out in spring 2012, follows Bibliophile Catherine Elbert as she bounces from coast to coast in search of her true self.

They might be completely different people, but all of the characters share a love of reading and discussing the classics.

Do you have what it takes to join Edwina Hipplewhite and her Bibliophiles for their monthly meetings?

Take this quick quiz and find out.

  • Whenever you walk into a bookstore you…
    1. head straight for the fiction stacks?
    2. get sidetracked by the magazines?
    3. I don’t go to bookstores.
  • On your bookshelves, whether they are physical or on your e-reader device, are there…
    1. so many books, you can’t help yourself?
    2. games?
    3. Bookshelves? I thought those things in my house were for family photos.
  • When relaxing on the beach, your favorite thing to do is…
    1. READ!
    2. play beach volleyball and spike it at my sibling’s face?
    3. drink beverages with tiny, colorful umbrellas in them while napping intermittently?
  • Do you carry a book or e-reader with you wherever you go?
    1. Of course! One never knows when there might be time to read a few pages.
    2. Only if I can remember it.
    3. Oh, heck no.
  • When you ponder a world without books, which answer is closest to your reaction?
    1. What? A world without books? It is unfathomable.
    2. Wait, what will all the movies be based on now?
    3. Who cares? There is still television.

Scoring

If you answered mostly As, welcome, kindred spirit. The Bibliophiles would greet you with open arms.

If you answered a mixture of As and Bs, you have potential. Just stay away from the readers at the beach.

If you answered all Cs, I guess it doesn’t matter, because you are probably not even reading this blog.

If you are interested in starting your own classics book club and tackling the literature the Bibliophiles will discuss throughout the series, I have some tips on my website, www.karenberner.com, on the “Read Along with The Bibliophiles” page.

First up is James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, followed by As You Like It, by William Shakespeare, both of which appear in A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One). There are even food and beverage suggestions, because that is definitely part of the fun.

Good luck!

a whisper to a scream book coverAbout A Whisper to a Scream:

Annie Jacobs has dreamed of the day she would become a mother since the first time she held her Baby Tenderlove doll. Unfortunately, biology has not cooperated with her plan, and she finds herself dealing with a diagnosis of unexplained infertility instead of picking out baby names.

Across town, stay-at-home mom Sarah Anderson is just trying to make it through the grocery store without her toddler hurling a box of rice at a fellow shopper. She is exhausted from managing the house, a first grader and a toddler, all without any help from her work-obsessed, absentee husband.

A Whisper to a Scream is the story of two women on opposite ends of the child-bearing spectrum who come to realize the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the fence. A vivid portrayal of contemporary marriage and its problems, the novel speaks to a longing in all of us, a yearning that might start as a vague notion, but eventually grows into an unbearable, vociferous cry.

And now for the giveaway! This giveaway is international. Residents of US/Canada will receive a print copy of A Whisper to a Scream, while residents of all other countries will receive the eBook. This giveaway ends on January 19th.

Click here to enter the giveaway

As you will notice, the Rafflecopter form is different from previous forms. This form is the new and latest version. To enter, you can either fill in your name and email address, or log in using Facebook. The advantage of logging in using Facebook is that you can edit your entries if you make a mistake, and you don’t have to enter your Facebook name when you enter the Facebook like entry. If you choose the name and email address function, you don’t have to use your real or full name. A pseudonym will work just as well. The biggest change this new Rafflecopter widget offers is that it helps to “remember” you so that you will not log in duplicate entries. Of course, this only works until you delete your browser cookies.

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Interview with D. Robert Pease

Blog Tour Notes

Noah Zarc: Mammoth TroubleOVERVIEW

Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction.

Life couldn’t be better.

But the twelve-year-old time traveler learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is kidnapped and taken to Mars; his dad is stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying Earth… for the second time.

Get your copy today by visiting Amazon.com (available in paperback or as an eBook) or the online retailer of your choice (more links below).

CASH PRIZES

Guess what? You could win a $50 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. That’s right! Just leave a comment below saying something about the post you just read, and you’ll be entered into the raffle. I could win $50 too by having the most comments. So tell your friends to stop by and comment on this post too!

GIVEAWAY

Win 1 of 5 copies of the paperback version of Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble by entering the giveaway on GoodReads.

D. Robert PeaseTHE AUTHOR

D. Robert Pease has been interested in creating worlds since childhood. From building in the sandbox behind his house, to drawing fantastical worlds with paper and pencil, there has hardly been a time he hasn’t been off on some adventure in his mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike. Also, since the moment he could read, books have consumed vast swaths of his life. From The Mouse and the Motorcycle, to The Lord of the Rings, worlds just beyond reality have called to him like Homer’s Sirens. It’s not surprising then he chose to write stories of his own. Each filled with worlds just beyond reach, but close enough we can all catch a glimpse of ourselves in the characters.

Discover ways to connect with the author by visiting his site at www.drobertpease.com

BOOK TRAILER

THANK YOU! for visiting. And don’t forget to comment below for that chance to win the $50 Amazon gift card. And of course head on over to your favorite online book store and buy a copy of Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble, for you or for the kids in your life.

Amazon Paperback | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Apple iBookstore | Smashwords | Diesel eBook Store | CreateSpace Paperback | Amazon UK | Amazon France | Amazon Germany

Continue reading

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Random Acts of Kindness: January

random acts of kindness button

After reading about Random Acts of Kindness, I decided to join it. R.A.K. is started by the bloggers at Book Soulmates. The concept is giving without expecting any in return. After joining R.A.K., you post your wishlist and someone might decide to send you a book from your wishlist. You can also send someone else a book if you wish.

Rules:

• Sign up each month you’d like to participate in.

• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available 🙂

• Create a wishlist and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.

{Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there’s a link to it.}

• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wishlist and contact that blogger for their address.

• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!

Make a post saying ‘Thank You’ to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us 🙂

OPEN TO EVERYONE!

Let’s keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.

Remember, there’s always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

Here is the link to my wishlist on Amazon. Shoot me an email or fill up the contact form by clicking on the “Contact” tab in the menu above if you wish to send me a book or homemade item.

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Dear Author: Review Policy

Dear Author,

It’s all about review policies today. Review policies are those policies where info is given about the book blogger’s guidelines regarding books sent for reviews. They exist for a reason.

I cannot overstress the importance of reading review policies. Some review policies are just one or two paragraphs long. Others are even longer. But the length doesn’t matter. What matters most is the content in the review policies.

You see, review policies are not just bytes in the web-space. They serve a greater purpose than just to take up bytes. Review policies tell you the book genres bloggers prefer and their preferred book formats. The concise ones also include information about their reviews and important information about author interviews and book giveaways.

You’ve probably heard that it’s never safe to assume or make presumptions. This works the same in book blogging. Never assume that you know what the book blogger wants. Always read their review policy.

After all, why should we spend three hours (or more) to read your book when you cannot even spare five minutes reading our review policy?

Not only that, you will save yourself and us time (time is precious, you know) by reading our review policies. For example, if you read my review policy, you would know that I don’t accept eBooks. If you have read it instead of immediately clicking the email icon on the right, you wouldn’t be emailing me PDFs of your book in the hope that I’ll read them. And no, I am not that easily tempted to read your book no matter how good it sounds. (I am not easily tempted by free books, in case you are wondering.)

To a better bookish future,
Evangeline

This is my first post for the Dear series I’m starting. Each Dear post will either be addressed to authors or book bloggers. This is a monthly series. If you have any topics you’d like to see me address, please let me know in the comment section below. As always, I welcome your opinions. If you read something you like or do not like, let me know! I hope you enjoy this series as much as I enjoy writing them.

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2011 Wrap-Up & 2012 Challenges

Wrap-up

Deciding whether to post a year wrap-up post has been on the back of my mind the past few days. I’ve finally succumbed to peer pressure (not!). I’ll first start with the wrap-up before going on to the challenges I’ll be taking part in 2012.

Some fun stats first:

Total number of posts in 2011: 173
Total number of page hits in 2011: 12,020
Total number of books reviewed in 2011: 56

Top 5 books of 2011:

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh – It was such a breathtaking debut novel! Definitely my favorite read in 2011. I did not post a review for it here as my review was published at Lovereading.co.uk.

The DMZ by Jeanette Windle – It is long at 500+ pages, but worth every minute I took to read it. The suspense, mystery, action, and romance were all at the right places in the right amounts.

Along Wooded Paths by Tricia Goyer – My favorite Amish book. I liked it so much, I had its sequel pre-ordered from The Book Depository as a birthday present, although it’ll only be released in April 2012.

Tuesday’s Child by Carolyn Gibbs – This book is proof that a book doesn’t have to be published by a big-name publisher to be good. It wasn’t a relaxing nor a light read, but the issues touched on in this book should serve as important reminders that domestic abuse exist.

The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson – The author played the romance element well. There was no rushing and the fairytale element in the book only served to make it an even better read.

I had many wonderful blogging moments this year. Moments with plenty of firsts – first giveaway, first interview, first guest post, first meme, first vlog. Among the things I’ve learned is how to ask interview questions, put on my thinking cap for creative guest post titles, and create a vlog using iMovie. I’m proud of all those accomplishments, minor they may be. Something I’m not proud of is the fact that I failed my first challenge. I simply did not have time to reread, much less read all the books I received this year. The books I won in giveaways have been put aside as I attempt to conquer my reading pile.

Challenges

But! I’ll be back even stronger in 2012. I have signed up for two giveaway hops and with this post, two challenges. I’ll be joining the 2012 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren as talked about in my post about it, and the ABC Challenge hosted by Patricia from Book Exhibitionism.

For the 2012 DAC, I have not yet checked the list of books by debut YA/MG authors, but will soon. I’ll probably pick one or two from the list and doing the rest as time goes by, meaning that I will not be actively looking for debuts, but will give priority to debut Young Adult/Middle Grade books sent to me for review.

As for the ABC Challenge, I have a few books in mind thus far. I aim to read at least five books for the challenge. I’m not setting a high target for myself because I’ll be away for three months next year (you’ll know about it when the time comes). The books I’m hoping to read (or reread, as in the case of a couple of books) are as follows:-

A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck (reread)
Beauty by Lisa Daily (tentative, depending whether NetGalley has it or not)
Crown of Vengeance by Stephen Zimmer (post has been scheduled)
Dark Water by Laura McNeal
Exile by Anne Osterlund (reread)

Final news:

I know this isn’t really news, but I’ll be keeping a book log here in Sugarpeach. I’ll be updating it each time I read a new book so that I can keep track of the number of books I’ve read. I know this is a little late for it, I should have done this years ago, but better late than never. This will in no way affect the posts as I’ll be having it as a separate page that will be listed in the menu tabs above.

Starting from January 1, 2012, I’ll be having a monthly post titled “The Dear Series”. In each post that will go live at the beginning of each month, I will address a certain issue either regarding authors or bloggers. If it is for authors, it would be titled “Dear Author”. If it is for bloggers, it would be titled “Dear Blogger”. Feel free to give me suggestions as to the issues you would like to see me write about.

This isn’t a news related to the entire 2012 year, but I’ll be having my first blog survey in mid-January, 2012. I hope to have as many readers as possible to fill in the survey. The survey is a sort of “feeler” and “touch-base” for me. I need to know whether the direction I’m taking this blog to with my posts is right or not.

I think I’ve said all I need to say here. This post is longer than I expected it to be. Before I end, here’s a fun fact. Did you know… that Sugarpeach had an average of 3 readers a day in December 2010? For December 2011, we had an average of 52 visitors a day. Not much a big jump, but who knows what holds in December 2012? Anyway, I’ve prattled long enough here!

Happy New Year to all Sugarpeach readers! 🙂 Signing off, 2011. Hello, 2012!

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Filed under 2012 ABC Challenge, 2012 Debut Author Challenge, Miscellaneous

Mailbox Month: November and December 2011

in my mailbox icon

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature by Kristi from The Story Siren. Mailbox Month is my adaption of IMM. Instead of posting this feature weekly, I post it monthly. Click on the image above to visit the main IMM page. Ignore the weird fringe haircut I have in the video and the extra black hair color (I did a scan edit through YouTube and the heightened color was the result).

For review:

Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble by D. Robert Pease {Amazon | Goodreads}
Bobby Slater’s World by Hugh Centerville {Amazon | Goodreads}
Being Abigail by Kathryn White {Amazon | Goodreads}
Letters Home by Earle Kirkbride {Amazon | Goodreads}
Never The Same by B.C. Fleming {Amazon | Goodreads}
Replication by Jill Williamson {Amazon | Goodreads}
Best Forgotten by Paula Vince {Amazon | Goodreads}
Not In The Heart by Chris Fabry {Amazon | Goodreads}
The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter {Amazon | Goodreads}
The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson {Amazon | Goodreads} (NetGalley)
The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall {Amazon | Goodreads} (NetGalley)

Gifted:

Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble {Amazon | Goodreads}
Dark Water by Laura McNeal {Amazon | Goodreads}

Mentioned in vlog:

Darren at Bart’s Bookshelf
Helen and Jess at Book Review Sisters

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Review: Welcome to Fred by Brad Whittington

welcome to fred book coverPublisher: B&H Publishing Group
ISBN: 978073943625
Pages: 246
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 5
Age recommendation: Teens

Mark Cloud is a PK. His father, the pastor, moves his family for the umpteenth time, and to a small backward town called Fred. Mark is no stranger to being treated as an outsider in the various places he has stayed in, but he has never had it this hard to break the barrier and form close friendships. As time go by, Mark assimilates himself as best as he can in Fredonian culture and starts having doubts as to the existence of God. After four years, the family take a vacation to California. Mark can’t wait to meet the hippies and thinks that he will finally feel a sense of belonging with them. Of course, as always, things don’t go as planned. Continue reading

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